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October 2010

 from Adoniram Judson

Adoniram Judson (1788-1850) was an American missionary whose name is inextricably associated with the land of Burma (now Myanmar), often referred to as ‘the golden shore’. In the course of his labours he faced massive trials and heartbreaks, but the Lord greatly honoured his servant’s ministry.

On the importance of lifetime service on the mission field
The motto of every missionary whether preacher, printer or schoolmaster ought to be Devoted for Life. A few days ago brother Kincaid was asked by a Burmese officer of government how long he intended to stay. ‘Until all Burma worships the eternal God’, was his prompt reply.

His letter to John Hasseltine when desiring to marry Hasseltine’s daughter, Ann
I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure for a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness, brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from the heathen saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?

On the translation of Scripture into Burmese
When we take up a language spoken by a people on the other side of the earth, whose very thoughts run in channels diverse from ours, and whose modes of expression are consequently all new; when we find the letters and words all totally destitute of the least resemblance to any language we have ever met with, and these words not fairly distinguished, as in western writing, by breaks, and points, and capitals, but run together in one continuous line, a sentence or a paragraph seeming to the eye but one long word; when instead of clear characters on paper, we find only obscure scratches on dried palm leaves strung together, and called a book; when we have no dictionary and no interpreter to explain a single word, and must get something of the language before we can avail ourselves of the assistance of a native teacher, that means work.

At the time of the first convert in Burma (Moung Nau)
I begin to think that the grace of God has reached his heart. He expressed sentiments of repentance for his sins, and  faith in the Saviour. The substance of his profession is, that from the darknesses, and uncleannesses, and sins of his whole life, he has found no other Saviour but Jesus Christ; nowhere else can he look for salvation; and therefore he proposes to adhere to Christ, and worship him all his life long. It seems almost too much to believe that God has begun to manifest his grace to the Burmans; but this day I could not resist the delightful conviction that this is really the case. PRAISE AND GLORY BE TO HIS NAME FOREVER. Amen.